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Creating a Thriving Philanthropic Ecosystem
Organizational Health

Summertime offers a great opportunity to break from our daily routines of meetings and zooms to enjoy the outdoors and witness all the ways that plants and animals interact with their environments.

Whether it’s the pond in your backyard, or even something as big as the ocean, every ecosystem exists in a delicate balance. They are complex, interconnected networks with many factors at play.

Our philanthropic sector is no different. Our ecosystem is intricately connected and our interactions can help elevate or challenge its success.

There are all sorts of contributors in the philanthropic ecosystem. What role do you play?

  • Nonprofits: Nonprofits are made up of executive leaders, staff, board members, donors, and volunteers all working together to fulfill a mission for the betterment of their community.
  • Foundations: Family, corporate, community, and other foundations exist to raise funds and make charitable grants to organizations.
  • Government Agencies: Agencies at the city, county, state, and federal levels provide grants, tax credits, and other support to nonprofits.
  • Faith Communities: Religious denominations, houses of worship, and the groups they establish put their beliefs into practice by serving others.
  • Professional Service Providers: This is where the Cramer team comes in! All kinds of professionals help nonprofits serve their communities. This includes fundraising consultants, grant writers, tax lawyers, general attorneys, financial advisors, lobbyists, and marketing agencies, and many others.
  • Communication Leaders: Traditional media such as newspapers, radio stations, and TV networks, along with social media, speakers bureaus, conferences, and more all get the word out about philanthropic projects.
  • Community Influencers: Bloggers/vloggers, industry experts, politicians, and digital content creators on social media often drum up support for nonprofits among their own followers.

The philanthropic sector relies on all these different contributors, and in order for the sector to thrive, they must all be actively engaged with each other.

Here are some ways you can strengthen the ecosystem around you:

  • Take stock of your own environment. Do you have strong relationships with all different types of contributors? It can be easy to focus solely on relationships with contributors who are in the same category as you, but remember, the loss of one contributor can throw everything off balance. Widen your networking efforts to create and maintain relationships with people in every category.
  • Stay connected within your own philanthropic ecosystem. When’s the last time you grabbed a coffee with a leader from another nonprofit? Have you caught up with any communication leaders or your contacts at local foundations lately? You never know when you’ll need to lean on these connections to help advance your mission. Maintaining ties with a wide variety of contributors is crucial for your own success, and for the whole philanthropic ecosystem.
  • Continue to contribute actively within the philanthropic ecosystem. When everyone gets involved, we all benefit. How you contribute differs depending on your role, but we all have opportunities to help each other out. Support others generously, and see how your philanthropic ecosystem flourishes!

Need support or guidance to ensure you or your organization are doing all you can to contribute to a thriving philanthropic ecosystem? We can help you strike that delicate balance. Get in touch with us today!

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